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Spontaneous Music Ensemble discography

This is a discography of albums released by Spontaneous Music Ensemble.

The Spontaneous Music Ensemble was originally organised by John Stevens and Trevor Watts in London in 1965. The group did not have a fixed personnel but was a changing collection of free improvising musicians throughout it existence from 1965 to 1994. John Stevens organised the group and was the only permanent member throughout this period. Group members in the early years included Watts, Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford, Julie Tippetts, and Ron Herman. During the later years (late 1970's to 1990s) the group was usually built around a trio of Stevens, Nigel Coombes, and Roger Smith. If the group included a large number of musicians it was called the Spontaneous Music Orchestra.

This list below includes albums credited to the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and the Spontaneous Music Orchestra. The list includes all identified LPs and CDs. CD reissue are listed separately from original LPs as they often include bonus material.


Spontaneous Music Ensemble discography

Challenge, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1966, Eyemark

Tracks : E.D.'s Message, 2.B.Ornette, Club 66, Day Of Reckoning, End To A Beginning, Travelling Together, Little Red Head, After Listening

Musicians : John Stevens, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford, Trevor Watts, Bruce Cale, Jeff Clyne

Recorded and originally released in 1966. Subsequently released on CD with one bonus track on Emanem in 2001 and 2013.

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Karyobin, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1968, Island

Tracks : Karyobin Pt. 1, Karyobin Pt. 2

Musicians : John Stevens, Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland

Originally released on Island in 1968. Released on CD with bonus tracks on Chronoscope in 1993.

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John Stevens Spontaneous Music Ensemble, John Stevens Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1969, Marmalade

Tracks : Oliv I, Oliv II

Musicians : John Stevens, Kenny Wheeler, Trevor Watts, Peter Lemer, Derek Bailey, Johnny Dyani, Carolann Nicholls, Maggie Nichols, Pepi Lemer

Both tracks were subsequently included on the Emanem CD Oliv & Familie in 2014.

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The Source: From And Towards, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1971, Tangent

Tracks : Part One: Expectancy, Part Two: Birth, Part Three: Thanksgiving, Part Four: Time Goes On: Version A/Version B/Version C, Part Five: You Know

Musicians : John Stevens, Kenny Wheeler, Bob Norden, Chris Pyne, Brian Smith, Ray Warleigh, Trevor Watts, Mike Pyne, Marcio Mattos, Ron Mathewson

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Birds Of A Feather, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1972, BYG Actuel

Tracks : One, Two, Albert Ayler, Birds Of A Feather, Birds Of A Feather (Continued), Nothing, Chains

Musicians : John Stevens, Trevor Watts, Ron Herman, Julie Tippetts

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So, What Do You Think?, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1972?, Tangent

Tracks : So, What Do You Think?, So, What Do You Think?

Musicians : John Stevens, Kenny Wheeler, Trevor Watts, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland

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For CND For Peace For You To Share, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1973, A Records 001

Tracks : For You To Share, For You To Share (continued), Park Piece

Musicians : John Stevens, Trevor Watts, plus unnamed young musicians and audience members

Recorded live in May 1970. Tracks 1 and 2 were subsequently included on the 1998 Emanem CD For You To Share.

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Bobby Bradford with John Stevens and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1974, Freedom

Tracks : Trane Ride / Ornette-ment / Doo Dee, Bridget's Mother, Tolerance / To Bob

Musicians : Bobby Bradford, John Stevens, Bob Norden, Trevor Watts, Ron Herman, Julie Tippetts

These track were included, with other tracks from the session, on a pair of LPs released by Nessa in 1980 and 1981 and then on a CD released by Nessa in 2009.

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Face To Face, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1975, Emanem 303

Tracks : Face To Face 1, Face To Face 2, Face To Face 3, Face To Face 4, Face To Face 5, Face To Face 6, Face To Face 7

Musicians : John Stevens, Trevor Watts

Released on CD with some bonus tracks in 1995.

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SME + = SMO, Spontaneous Music Orchestra, 1975, A Records 003

Tracks : + (Search + Reflect, Sustained, Sustained +, 1 2 +), =

Musicians : John Stevens, Martin Mayes, Robert Calvert, Evan Parker, Bob Turner, Trevor Watts, Dave Decobain, Herman Hauge, Ye Min, Peter Drew, Ian Brighton, Roger Smith, Robert Carter, Nigel Coombes, Stephen Luscomb, Lindsay Cooper, Jane Robertson, Colin Wood, Angus Fraser, Marcio Mattos, Chris Turner

Subsequently included on the 2001 Emanem CD Plus Equals.

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Byosystem, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1977, Incus 24

Tracks : Biosystem, Mystery, Saved By The Bell, Replanted, Back To The Beginning For The First Time

Musicians : John Stevens, Roger Smith, Nigel Coombes, Colin Wood

Released on CD on Psi in 2006 with 4 bonus tracks.

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Live Big Band And Quartet, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1979, Vinyl Records

Tracks : Side A: Let's Sing For Him (A Song For Albert Ayler), Side B: One, Two, Albert Ayler / Birds Of A Feather / Nothing

Musicians : Side A: John Stevens, Ian Carr, Kenny Wheeler,Chris Pyne, Brian Smith, Ray Warleigh, Trevor Watts, Karl Jenkins, Roland Czyzyk, Peter Lemer, Mike Pyne, Ron Mathewson, Ron Herman, John Marshall, Keith Bailey, Laurie Allen, Julie Tippetts, Carolann Nichols, Maggie Nichols, Norma Winstone / Side B: John Stevens, Trevor Watts, Ron Herman, Julie Tippetts

Recorded live in May 1971.

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Volume 1, Bobby Bradford with John Stevens and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1980, Nessa n-17

Tracks : His Majesty Louis, Bridget's Mother, Room 408, Tolerance / To Bob

Musicians : Bobby Bradford, John Stevens, Bob Norden, Trevor Watts, Ron Herman, Julie Tippetts

Bridget's Mother and Tolerance/To Bob were originally released on an LP on Freedom in 1974.

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Volume 2, Bobby Bradford with John Stevens and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1981, Nessa n-18

Tracks : Trane Ride / Ornette-ment / Doo Dee, Norway, Rhythm Piece, Fragment

Musicians : Bobby Bradford, John Stevens, Bob Norden, Trevor Watts, Ron Herman, Julie Tippetts

Trane Ride/Ornette-ment/Doo Dee was originally released on an LP on Freedom in 1974.

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1.2. Albert Ayler, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1982, Affinity

Tracks : 1.2. Albert Ayler Part 1, 1.2. Albert Ayler Part 2

Musicians : John Stevens, Trevor Watts, Ron Herman, Julie Tippetts

Recorded live in Norway in 1971.

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In Concert, S.M.E. & S.M.O, 1982, Sweet Folk & Country Records

Tracks : Triangle, Reciprocal, A Fragment Of Static

Musicians : Track 2: John Stevens, Nigel Coombes, Roger Smith / Tracks 1 & 3: John Stevens, Nigel Coombes, Roger Smith, Jon Corbett, Alan Tomlinson, Paul Rutherford, Lol Coxhill, Trevor Watts, Howard Riley, Maggie Nicols

Recorded live in May 1981.

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Eighty Five Minutes Part 1: Concert Improvisations 1974, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1986, Emanem 3401

Tracks : Forty Minutes / Forty Minutes

Musicians : John Stevens, Evan Parker, Trevor Watts, Derek Bailey, Kent Carter

Recorded in February 1974. Subsequently released on an Emanem CD in 1995 titled Quintessence 1 with additional tracks.

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Eighty Five Minutes Part 2: Concert Improvisations 1974, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1986, Emanem 3402

Tracks : Thirty Five Minutes, Ten Minutes

Musicians : John Stevens, Evan Parker, Trevor Watts, Derek Bailey, Kent Carter

Recorded in February 1974. Subsequently released on an Emanem CD in 1997 titled Quintessence 2 with additional tracks.

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Karyobin, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1993, Chronoscope CPE2001-2

Tracks : Karyobin Pt. 1, Karyobin Pt. 2, Karyobin Pt. 3, Karyobin Pt. 4, Karyobin Pt. 5, Karyobin Pt. 6

Musicians : Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland, John Stevens

Originally released on Island in 1968.

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4,4,4, Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford, Barry Guy, John Stevens, 1994, Konnex

Tracks : 1,4,4 / 2,4,4 / 3,4,4 / 4,4,4 / 5,4,4 / Surfaces

Musicians : Tracks 1 to 5: Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford, Barry Guy, John Stevens / Track 6: John Stevens, Nigel Coombes, Roger Smith

Tracks 6 is a Spontaneous Music Ensemble recording from 1992. It was subsequently released, in an extended form, on the Emanem CD New Surfacing in 2013.

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A New Distance, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1995, Acta 8

Tracks : Introduction, Stig, So This Is Official, Tape Delight, Uneasy Options, A Certain Elegance

Musicians : John Stevens, John Butcher, Roger Smith

Released on CD on Emanem in 2005 with 5 bonus tracks.

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Face To Face 1973, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1995, Emanem 4003

Tracks : Preface To Face A, Preface To Face B, Face To Face 1, Face To Face 2 Middle, Face To Face 2, Face To Face 3, Face To Face 4, Face To Face 5, Face To Face 6, Face To Face 7 Middle & End

Musicians : John Stevens, Trevor Watts

Most tracks originally released on LP in 1975.

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Summer 1967, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1995, Emanem 4005

Tracks : Listening Together 1, Listening Together 2, Listening Together 3, Listening Together 4, Listening Together 5, First Cousins, Second Cousins, Echo Chamber Music 1, Echo Chamber Music 2, Echo Chamber Music 3

Musicians : John Stevens, Evan Parker, Peter Kowald (on First Cousins & Second Cousins)

All tracks recorded as Les Cousins in the Summer of 1967 and released here for the first time..

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Hot and Cold Heroes, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1996, Emanem 4008

Tracks : Boileau Road, That's It, Late Night Extra, Five To One, One For Terry Day

Musicians : John Stevens, John Rangecroft, Neil Metcalfe, Roger Smith, Nigel Coombes

Track one recorded in 1980. All other tracks recorded in 1991..

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Quintessence 1, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1997, Emanem 4015

Tracks : Forty Minutes, Rambunctious 1, Rambunctious 2, Daa-Oom (Trio Version)

Musicians : John Stevens, Evan Parker, Trevor Watts, Derek Bailey, Kent Carter

Recorded in 1973/74. First two tracks originally released in 1986 on the LP Eighty Five Minutes Part 1.

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Quintessence 2, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1997, Emanem 4016

Tracks : Thirty Five Minutes, Ten Minutes, Corsop, Daa-Oom (Duo version)

Musicians : John Stevens, Evan Parker, Trevor Watts, Derek Bailey, Kent Carter

Recorded in 1973/74. First two tracks originally released in 1986 on the LP Eighty Five Minutes Part 2.

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Withdrawal, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1997, Emanem 4020

Tracks : Withdrawal Soundtrack: Part 1A/Part 1B/Part 1C/Part 2, Withdrawal Sequence 1, Withdrawal Sequence 2, Withdrawal Sequence 3, Seeing Sounds & Hearing Colours: Introduction "Puddles, Raindrops & Circles"/Movement 1/Movement 2 "C"/Movement 3

Musicians : John Stevens, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford, Trevor Watts, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Barry Guy

Recorded in 1966/67 and released here for the first time..

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For You To Share, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1998, Emanem 4023

Tracks : For You To Share: Click Piece/Sustained Piece 1/Sustained Piece 2/If You Want To See A Vision, Peace Music

Musicians : John Stevens, Trevor Watts, plus unnamed young musicians and audience members

For You To Share was recorded live in May 1970 and originally released in 1973 on the LP For CND For Peace For You To Share. Peace Music was recorded live in February 1970 and is previously unreleased.

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Low Profile 1977 - 1988, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 1999, Emanem 4031

Tracks : Immediate Past Fragment, The Only Geezer An American Soldier Shot Was Anton Webern, Low Profile, Kitless With Elbow

Musicians : John Stevens, Roger Smith, Nigel Coombes, Colin Wood

Live recordings from 1977, 1984 and 1988. All released tracks are previously unissued.

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Mouthpiece, Spontaneous Music Orchestra, 2000, Emanem 4039

Tracks : In Relationship To Silence, Sustained Piece (Instrumental), Sustained Piece (Vocal), One-Two, Mouthpiece

Musicians : John Stevens plus large group

Live recordings made between May and November 1973.

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Challenge, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2001, Emanem 4053

Tracks : E.D.'s Message, 2.B.Ornette, Club 66, Day Of Reckoning, End To A Beginning, Travelling Together, Little Red Head, After Listening, End To A Beginning, Distant Little Soul

Musicians : Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford, Trevor Watts, Bruce Cale, Jeff Clyne, John Stevens, Evan Parker (track 10), Chris Cambridge (track 10)

Tracks 1 to 9 originally released in 1966. Subsequently released on CD by Emanem in 2001 and 2013.

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SME + = SMO, Spontaneous Music Orchestra, 2001, Emanem 4062

Tracks : Plus Equals, SMO At LTC

Musicians : Tracks 1: John Stevens, Martin Mayes, Robert Calvert, Evan Parker, Bob Turner, Trevor Watts, Dave Decobain, Herman Hauge, Ye Min, Peter Drew, Ian Brighton, Roger Smith, Robert Carter, Nigel Coombes, Stephen Luscomb, Lindsay Cooper, Jane Robertson, Colin Wood, Angus Fraser, Marcio Mattos, Chris Turner / Tracks 2: John Stevens plus unknown orchestra

Track one recorded in Janualy 1975 and originally released on an LP with the same title in 1975. Track two recorded live in January 1974 and previously unreleased.

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A New Distance, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2005, Emanem 4115

Tracks : Introduction, Stig, So This Is Official, Tape Delight, Uneasy Options, A Certain Elegance, Spoken Introduction, Peripheral Vision, Spoken Interlude, With Hindsight, Spoken Conclusion

Musicians : John Stevens, John Butcher, Roger Smith, Neil Metcalfe (tracks 8 & 10)

Tracks 1 to 6 originally released on CD on Acta in 1995.

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Byosystem, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2006, Psi 06.07

Tracks : Biosystem, Mystery, Saved By The Bell, Replanted, Back To The Beginning For The First Time, Another Begining, Restored, Saved By The Bell, The Bell And Beyond

Musicians : John Stevens, Roger Smith, Nigel Coombes, Colin Wood

Originally issued on Incus in 1977. This CD release has 4 four bonus tracks.

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Frameworks, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2007, Emanem 4134

Tracks : Familie Sequence, Quartet Sequence, Flower

Musicians : Track 1: John Stevens, Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford, Trevor Watts / Track 2: John Stevens, Julie Tippett, Trevor Watts, Ron Herman / Track 3: John Stevens, Trevor Watts

Previously unreleased music from 1968, 1971 and 1973.

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Quintessence, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2007, Emanem 4217

Tracks : Forty Minutes, Thirty Five Minutes, Ten Minutes, Rambunctious 1, Rambunctious 2, Daa-Oom (Trio Version), Corsop, Daa-Oom (Duo version)

Musicians : John Stevens, Evan Parker, Trevor Watts, Derek Bailey, Kent Carter

Recorded in 1973/74. This double CD release combines the two 1995 CDs Quintessence 1 and Quintessence 2.

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Bare Essentials 1972-3, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2007, Emanem 4218

Tracks : In The Midlands, In The Middle, Three Extracts, For Phil, Newcastle 72A, Newcastle 72B, Open Flower 1, Open Flower 2, Open Flower 3, Open Flower 4, Open Flower 5, Open Flower 6, Open Flower 7, Opening The Set, Beyond Limitation, Lowering The Case

Musicians : John Stevens, Trevor Watts

Duo live recordings from 1972 and 1973.

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In Concert: Trio & Triangle, S.M.E. & S.M.O, 2008, Emanem 4150

Tracks : Triangle, Reciprocal, A Fragment Of Static, Newcastle 78A, Newcastle 78B

Musicians : Track 2, 4 & 5: John Stevens, Nigel Coombes, Roger Smith / Tracks 1 & 3: John Stevens, Nigel Coombes, Roger Smith, Jon Corbett, Alan Tomlinson, Paul Rutherford, Lol Coxhill, Trevor Watts, Howard Riley, Maggie Nicols

Tracks 1 to 3 originally released on an LP on Sweet Folk & Country Records in 1982. Tracks 1 to 3 recorded live in May 1981. Tracks 4 and 5 recorded live in Newcastle in November 1978.

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Bobby Bradford with John Stevens and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2009, Nessa ncd-17/18

Tracks : His Majesty Louis, Bridget's Mother, Room 408, Tolerance / To Bob, Trane Ride / Ornette-ment / Doo Dee, Norway, Rhythm Piece, Fragment

Musicians : Bobby Bradford, John Stevens, Bob Norden, Trevor Watts, Ron Herman, Julie Tippetts

Trane Ride / Ornette-ment / Doo Dee, Bridget's Mother, Tolerance / To Bob were originally released on an LP on Freedom in 1974. All tracks on this CD release were first released on Nessa on two single LPs in 1980 and 1981.

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I Want The Beatles To Play At My Art Centre, Various Artists, 2012, Prisma Records

Tracks : A Forum Of The Arts (Arne Nordheim), Excerpts From Blikk (Sigurd Berge), The Space Concerto For Piano And Tape (Bjørn Fongaard), Teeth (Soft Machine), Norway (Spontaneous Music Ensemble), Excerpts From Requiem For Janis Joplin (Paal (Helge Haugen & Kåre Kolberg), Olga (Svein Finnerud Trio), Monkey And Organ Grinder (Hal Clark), Dans Til Musikken (Aller Værste!, The), Excerpts From Muoyce (John Cage), Music For Marcel Duchamp (Magne Hegdal), Ear Era 7 (Lasse Marhaug), Aunt Esther (Jim O'Rourke), Studio (Deathprod), Improvisations For Karin (Håkon Kornstad), You Sign Your Name (Jenny Hval)

Notes : A double LP release of tracks recorded over a period of 43 years at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter at Hovikodden. The Spontaneous Music Ensemble track was recorded in 1971.

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Challenge, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2013, Emanem 5029

Tracks : E.D.'s Message, 2.B.Ornette, Club 66, Day Of Reckoning, End To A Beginning, Travelling Together, Little Red Head, After Listening, End To A Beginning, Distant Little Soul

Musicians : Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford, Trevor Watts, Bruce Cale, Jeff Clyne, John Stevens, Evan Parker (track 10), Chris Cambridge (track 10)

Tracks 1 to 9 originally released in 1966. Subsequently released on CD by Emanem in 2001 and 2013.

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New Surfacing 1978 & 1992, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2013, Emanem 5030

Tracks : Newcastle 78A, Newcastle 78B, Complete Surfaces

Musicians : John Stevens, Nigel Coombes, Roger Smith

Tracks 1 and 2 were recorded in 1978 and originally released in 2008 on the Emanem CD In Concert: Trio & Triangle (S.M.E. & S.M.O). Track 3 was recorded in 1992 and originally released, as Surfaces, in a shortened form on the Konnex album 4,4,4 in 1994.

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Oliv & Familie, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, 2014, Emanem 5033

Tracks : Familie, Oliv I, Oliv II, Familie (Alt ending)

Musicians : Tracks 2 & 3: John Stevens, Kenny Wheeler, Trevor Watts, Peter Lemer, Derek Bailey, Johnny Dyani, Carolann Nicholls, Maggie Nichols, Pepi Lemer / Tracks 1 & 4: John Stevens, Norma Winstone, Trevor Watts, Evan Parker, Brian Smith, Pepi Lemer, Derek Bailey, Nik Bryce, Dave Holland, Jeff Clyne

Oliv I and Oliv II were originally released on the 1969 Marmalade LP John Stevens Spontaneous Music Ensemble. The two Familie tracks were recorded in 1968 and are released here for the first time.

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Last updated July 2015